Pine Ridge, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Town of Pine Ridge accepted the year end audit for their fiscal 2017/2018 year end at their Tuesday night meeting from Brodie, Summers and Wilkes, PA. This is the Orangeburg based auditing firm they had retained to review their books from the last fiscal year. In that report, they received the highest marks possible for their work in keeping the town’s finances in order. This is normal for the small Lexington County town that has been commended many times for the exceptional job it does in caring for the town’s money and finances.
In his remarks, the auditor told the council that the town had finished the year with substantial savings that were invested in certificates of deposit in a local bank and invested through the State of South Carolina’s investment pool. They have very little debt, most of which is owed to Lexington County whom they purchased their town hall building from. Their income outpaced their expenses causing them to operate in the black again this year. With the exception of their Victim’s Advocate Fund, all their money was available should they need it. That Victim’s Advocacy money’s use is restricted based on state law that earmarks it specifically for use in assisting victims of crimes that occur.
The Town of Pine Ridge has no tax base. Their money is generated by franchise fees from utility companies, business license fees, and the small part of police fines and forfeitures generated by their police department after the state takes their mandatory cut. All police departments are required to pay a percentage of every fine for the support of the SC Criminal Justice Academy and other police fine supported operations. In the end, the agency that writes a citation, gets to keep only a small fraction of that money at the local level.
The report of the auditor was accepted unanimously by the Pine Ridge town council.